Supervisor’s Update on Arbor Hills

Supervisor’s Update on Arbor Hills

Township Finds Arbor Hills Responsible for Recent Sewer Issues; Takes Corrective Action
Posted on 09/04/2020
Arbor Hills

Recently, residents in several subdivisions alerted the Township to noxious odors in their sewer lines. The Township traced the odors to wastewater discharges from the Arbor Hills Landfill into the sewer system. The sewer system consists of sewer lines owned by both Northville Township and the Western Township Utility Authority (WTUA), which transports sewage to the sewage treatment plant in Ypsilanti operated by Ypsilanti Community Utility Authority (YCUA). Crews from the Township, WTUA and YCUA periodically test the sanitary sewer lines and confirmed that the wastewater (including leachate) from Arbor Hills Landfill operated by Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) exceeded the permitted level of hydrogen sulfide and caused the odors.

 

A 1992 contract between the Township and Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) and its successors permits the operator of the landfill to discharge up to 110,000 gallons per day of industrial wastewater into the sanitary sewer system until 2032. The wastewater must comply with Township ordinances before entering the sanitary sewer. The wastewater is treated under a permit with YCUA. For almost 30 years, wastewater from Arbor Hills has run through the sewer system for treatment without any problems or any health hazards to residents.

 

Following its investigation, the Township quickly pursued its contract and ordinance remedies by holding an administrative hearing requiring ADS to comply with the ordinance and eliminate the odors. The Township and ADS have entered into an Administrative Consent Order effective September 4, 2020, which requires pre-treatment of the hydrogen sulfide, cleaning and camera inspection of the discharge sewer line twice a year, installation of continuous monitoring systems, assessment of a $20,000 fine and penalties for future noncompliance. The actions have successfully eliminated the hydrogen sulfide odors and the Township will continue to monitor the system and ensure continued compliance.